The first group of the Malawi team to take part in the 12th All Africa Games, which starts on Monday, left yesterday for Rabat, Morocco.
The team comprises judo athletes—Harriet Boniface and Chifundo Kathewera—who were accompanied by their Japanese trainer Ryoma Kudo.
Malawi team leader of delegation John Kaputa, who is already in Morocco, said judo athletes have left earlier as they will start to compete this Monday.
He said the second group will leave tomorrow to join the judo athletes.
Speaking at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, Boniface said she is in great shape.
“We have worked on all techniques of judo, including throws [nagewaza], groundwork [newaza], chokes [shimewaza]
, joint locks [kansetsu waza], and strikes [atemi waza].
“I know I will be competing against the best in Africa, but I am optimistic of holding my own,” she said.
Kaputa was also optimistic that Malawian athletes can qualify for the 2020 Olympics.
“For a long time, our slot at the Olympics has been on solidarity, but this time we want to change all that and qualify on merit.
“I believe we will do it, looking at the preparations this team has had. We have had intensive preparations in all fields and the athletes are ready,” he said.
Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) MOC spokesperson Kythrina Phiri said the association, which is providing financial support, is hoping for a good performance.
“With the intensive training that has been taking place in phases, we are hopeful that the team will perform well. We thank the technical team for a job well done in choosing the team,” she said.
Apart from judo, Malawi will send archery, table tennis, taekwondo and swimming athletes.
From field and track there is Stain Lifa and Gift Kawale, 100 and 200 metres (m), Kefasi Chitsala Kasteni and Chauncy Master (5 000 and 10 000m, Mirriam Kachingwe and Moneyi Chingaipe (1 500 and 5 000m) and Golden Gunde in 400m.
Archery has Areneyo David, Mark Abel and Kamtotole Dzalani.
Joseph Junior Phiri (68 kilogramme-kg), Stanislaus Karlos Phiri (74kg) and Vester Banda (56kg will represent Taekwando. Floriano Massah Jnr and Salam Issah will represent table tennis while swimming has Felipe Gomez.